In medicine, we traditionally have focused almost exclusively on two types of communication: 1) between providers and patients in the hospital or clinic, and 2) from researchers and scholars to other health professionals through journal articles.
With the growing population of interconnected and informed stakeholders (patients, caregivers, policymakers, politicians, funders, etc.), this traditional approach to communication is no longer adequate.
Today, both opportunity and necessity dictate that communication skills in medicine be expanded to include not only the many new digital ways of communicating with patients and healthcare teams, but also responsible participation in the ongoing public discourse about health and health care.
This is Public Medical Communication, or PMC, and while it will be the cornerstone of some careers and an intermittent component of others, it is a skill set that all health professionals need if we are to remain effective in what the Internet guru Clay Shirky has called the “new communications ecosystem.”
Watch this video of Louise Aronson discussing PMC.
PMC is about WHO you communicate with (audience), HOW you communicate (understandable and compelling), WHERE you communicate (blogs, newspapers, legislative issue briefs, educational videos, etc.), WHAT is communicated (expertise, analysis, and stories related to health and health care), and WHY it is communicated (to advocate, educate, and engage jointly in conversations that matter).
Public Medical Communication is:
A platform. A skill set. A trend. An opportunity. A new field. An outlet.
An emerging professional necessity.
Bring PMC to your conference, group, school, or institution
Sample PMC Talks and Workshops by Louise Aronson
• Public Medical Communication: An Essential Skill for 21st Century Health Professionals
• Public Medical Writing Workshop: Op-Eds, Blogs, and Medical and Policy Journal Essays
• Advocating for Improved Care, Research, and Education: A Public Medical Communication Workshop
• Stories in Medicine/Stories and Medicine: What We Tell, How We Tell It, and Why It Matters
• Writing for Change: A Program to Train Residents in Health Policy Advocacy through Narrative
• Public Medical Writing: A Longitudinal, Developmental Curriculum for Medical Students
Contact Louise to start the dialogue on public medical communication
PMC Resources, Tips and Role Models (PDF)
• Resources for Building PMC Skills
• Scholarly Articles about PMC
• 12 Tips for PMC Success
• Select Physicians Skilled in Public Medical Communication
• Learn more